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Liverpool will be hotter with Salah back and on fire, vows Klopp


Hungry: Mohamed Salah is ready to return for Liverpool against Crystal Palace at Anfield tonight

Hungry: Mohamed Salah is ready to return for Liverpool against Crystal Palace at Anfield tonight

Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson


Hungry: Mohamed Salah is ready to return for Liverpool against Crystal Palace at Anfield tonight

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is expected to return to the starting line-up to face Crystal Palace tonight.

The Egypt international was an unused substitute for Sunday's goalless Merseyside derby draw, having missed the team's warm-up game the previous week.

Left-back Andy Robertson is also set to return after missing the game at Goodison Park, which is timely as stand-in James Milner has been ruled out with a hamstring injury, while defender Joel Matip is sidelined with a toe problem.

"(Salah) trained yesterday completely normal, will train today completely normal, then he is available. What I will make of the line-up then, you will have to wait," said Klopp.

"It's the same with Robbo, he trained yesterday as well completely normal so that is the same.

"The two guys, Millie and Joel, will not be available. We have to figure out exactly how long it will take but they don't play."

Klopp also expressed his opinion that their forthcoming match with Manchester City, which could well be the game which confirms the Reds' first league title in 30 years, should be held at the Etihad Stadium.

A Safety Advisory Group meeting tomorrow is set to decide where it should be played as the match is the only one without a confirmed venue at this stage.

"Honestly, I would prefer it is at Manchester otherwise it would be really difficult to organise it," said Klopp.

"I don't know how it would be, but it would not be in Liverpool so it would mean we both have to go somewhere where we both need a hotel. That is the only issue. It would be a challenge for both clubs.

"Apart from that we play where they send us to, but I would prefer it in Manchester," he added.

Sunday's derby passed off without fans gathering outside the ground and Klopp felt that was a good yardstick.

"The whole period we are in showed the massive majority of people really behaved responsibly and seriously and take this situation as it is," he added.

"The discipline level is probably as high as never before so I was not worried about that.

"Sunday was a good example, 100 per cent.

"My rule for life is things I cannot change I don't really think about and that's how it is.

"Football is not the same without supporters, 100 per cent. Football would not be the game without supporters if they would never have been there, 100 per cent. But in this moment, it's only a period where we have to play without supporters.

"So we have to make the best of it and the derby is a good example for that. It was maybe not the best football game you've ever seen but from an intensity point of view, it was the same like the other derbies were.

"We didn't play like we played because there were not supporters or stuff like this - yes, that's an effect as well. We took it like it is. We don't think about it anymore.

"It will be the first game at Anfield, but it's still a home game because we have our dressing room, we have all our things around, we know exactly where is what and stuff like this. That feels already good when you walk in the dugout or in the dressing room area.

"It's a home game and that's what we want to see on the pitch as well, of course. But in the end, no crowd, no atmosphere, we have to take that."

As for Palace, Klopp said: "We know they know how to take chances and we have to make sure that they will not have a lot or, in the best case, none."

An empty Anfield will be a strange place indeed but former Reds' boss Roy Hodgson does not entirely agree with the argument that Liverpool will be at a disadvantage with no fans.

"There's no doubt Jurgen Klopp and the players would prefer to play in an Anfield with 60,000 spectators roaring them on but I think we've all come to terms with the fact that's not going to happen," the Crystal Palace chief said.

"Nothing changes in terms of the quality Liverpool have, the way they play, their organisation, their determination also to keep going despite having had the league title in their pocket for quite a while.

"Nothing's going to change there. People sometimes argue that it's easier to play in empty stadia - I don't know. For me it's as always; 22 actors on the field, each doing his best to try to get a result."

Liverpool Vs Crystal Palace

Premier League: Anfield, Tonight, 8.15pm

Belfast Telegraph